The Art Fair organisers are currently working very intensely on ArtVilnius’15 which will be taking place on 25-28 June. One of the objectives of ArtVilnius is to activate regional art markets and to develop cultural cooperation in order to get to know the strongest galleries and artists in the neighbouring countries and then to extend the geography to the west. Relying upon examples of the best foreign galleries and aiming to present the strongest and prestigious foreign art galleries, collections, institutions and artists in the art fair, from this year onwards the art fair will have a guest country. The main focus of ArtVilnius’15 will be Ukraine; in 2016, this will be Poland and in 2017 – Latvia. “The Polish stage of contemporary art is impressive indeed, but not yet well known. The Polish art market is one of the most rapidly developing markets in the whole Central and Eastern Europe, attracting attention of lots of international collectors”, says the directress of ArtVilnius Diana Stomienė.
The organisers of International Contemporary Art Fair ArtVilnius have recently paid a visit to Poland with the primary mission to present ArtVilnius to representatives of Warsaw and Krakow contemporary art museums and galleries, as well as to invite them to take part in the 2016 event which will be focused namely on Poland.
The ArtVilnius delegation to Poland included Mrs. Diana Stomienė, directress of ArtVilnius, Prof. Dr. Raminta Jurėnaitė, art critic, member of ArtVilnius selection board, artistic directress of the first art fairs, and Miss Sonata Baliuckaitė, ArtVilnius coordinator. The visit was arranged with the assistance of the Polish Cultural Institute in Vilnius and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The first place visited in Poland by the organisers of the biggest visual arts events in the Baltic region was the Centre for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, the curator of which, Ewa Gorzadek, presented expositions of the leading female authors of Polish contemporary artworks: Secretum et Tremor by Natalia LL and Habitat by Katarzyna Józefowicz. Works of the latter have come to be presented in Lithuania, too. Ms. Agata Smoczyńska-Le Guern, directress of Contemporary Art Gallery Le Guern presented the exhibition Painting Studies by Polish painter Tomasz Ciecierski.
Ms. Agnieszka Rayzacher, directress of another marked Warsaw gallery Lokal_30, has noted that participation in next year’s ArtVilnius is a very important event for her gallery. “We are very happy to have the opportunity to present our gallery in the art fair next year. We will not only show the works of the artists we present, but will also have the opportunity to get to know the Lithuanian artistic context which we are not very well familiar with”, said Agnieszka Rayzacher. One more gallery of interest was Stalowa Gallery, where the organisers of ArtVilnius met Mr. Krzysztof Stanisławski, curator of the gallery and art critic having special relationships with Lithuania, and discussed with him the coming art fair. This art gallery has participated in ArtVilnius for several times; Stalowa stand will be displayed in ArtVilnius’15, too.
Other places of visit included art galleries Stereo, Dawid Radziszewski, Czułość, Kasia Michalski, and exposition of Andrzej Wróblewski, one of the most prominent Polish post-war artists, displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The tragic artist died at the tender age of 29 and is little known in Lithuania although Vilnius was his country of birth and childhood. After Warsaw, the organisers of the art fair visited Krakow where the main place of attraction was the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAK) and museum collections. Opened five years ago, the museum is the owner of works by such renowned artists as Marina Abramovic, Sarah Lucas, Ai Weiwei, Mirosław Bałka, Paweł Althamer, Lithuanian artist Artūras Raila, etc. The impressive collection of MOCAK will be presented at ArtVilnius’16. “MOCAK’s contemporary art collection will be a great opportunity for art fair visitors to get to know the most famous Polish and foreign artists. We are very happy that directress Maria Anna Potocka was so enthusiastic to bring her collection to Vilnius”, emphasises the art critic Raminta Jurėnaitė.
Mr. Jan Michalski, curator of Krakow art gallery Zderzak and well-known art critic, welcomed the exceptional opportunity of ArtVilnius visitors and collectors to get familiar with Polish contemporary art at ArtVilnius’16. This position was also shared by Marcin S. Gołębiewski, curator of Krakow gallery Nova, and the Kownacki, Gavel and Magdalena, managers of Krakow gallery F.A.I.T.
To sum up this entire visit, the five days of intensive visits to museums, art centres and galleries resulted in making a number of useful contacts and inviting the most famous Polish contemporary art museums, galleries, centres and art critics to take part in ArtVilnius’16.